If there is one dish I will never get bored of, it’s this one! A recipe that works with a variety of veggies – stuffed or rolled. Like Bell Peppers, Grape Leaves, Cabbage, you name it! They make a wonderful appetizer, side, or a full on entrée. Traditionally, they’re rolled in grape leaves. We used to grow a grape vine back home in Jordan, and my mom used to make fresh Yalanji all the time. It’s a childhood favourite!
Usually served as cold grape leaves, sometimes sold at local Mediterranean restaurants. In celebration of Thanksgiving this year, my friends and I gathered for a Friendsgiving potluck. We all come from different cultures, and I just knew I had to get them to try my version of this dish. I stuffed zucchinis and eggplants with the sweet and savoury rice stuffing, then sliced them into sushi-like bites to serve as an appetizer on the table. Sure was a crowd pleaser!
Hope you give this recipe a try. I’m sure you will enjoy it! If you do, I would love to see your recreation and learn how it went. Leave me a comment here and tag me in your photos on Instagram/Facebook/TikTok @demeals.ca #demeals
- Stuffing Ingredients
2 Cups Rice – Egyptian/Jasmine
2 Large Tomatoes
1 Bunch Parsley
1/2 Bunch Mint
3 Stalks Green Onion
2 Garlic Cloves
- Spice Mix
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Pomegranate Molasses
2 Lemons – freshly squeezed
1 Tbsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
4 Large Zucchinis
8 Small Eggplants
- Rinse the rice thoroughly until the water runs clear. Soak for 30 mins. Drain the rice into a large bowl and set aside.
- Finely chop the rest of the Stuffing Ingredients. Add them to the rice bowl along with the spice mix. Give it a good stir to combine. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
- Using a corer, carefully core out the inside of the zucchinis (cut in half) and eggplants – leaving it very close to the skin.
- Slice the potatoes and tomatoes into thick circles. Place on the bottom of a large pot.
- Place a strainer in a bowl, and drop the stuffing. Drain most of the liquid out and set aside. Tightly pack the zucchinis and eggplants with the stuffing.
- Carefully place the stuffed zucchinis and eggplants over the potatoes and tomatoes in the pot. Add the reserved liquid, and top off with water until it reaches the tip of the veggies. Add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil.
- Place a heat-proof plate upside-down over the veggies, holding everything in place. Cover with the lid, and turn down to low heat. Cook for about an hour and a half, until the rice is fully cooked and the veggies are tender – timing will depend on the size of the veggies.
- Remove from heat, and let cool down. Best served cold.
Enjoy your demeal!